Netflix, chill… and travel. I’m not going to lie, I enjoy being a couch potato as much as anybody else from time to time. Tucked under a blanket, a not so healthy snack at arms reach, my favorite travel shows, and I feel like I’m on the road again. Here are 13 of the best travel documentaries on Netflix in 2020 for your next couch potato Sunday!
1. Our Planet
Our Planet is a love letter to Earth and a call to save our home. Each episode focuses on a different ecosystem. Jaw-dropping glaciers, majestic forests, high seas, they each have their time in the spotlight. Watch now to fall (back) in love with our planet.
If you’ve ever heard of the Puerto Rican duo Calle 13, then you probably know who Residente is. René Pérez Joglar is a rapper and one of the founders of the band. In this documentary, he takes a DNA test and travels to all of the locations where his ancestors came from, creating music along the way.
3. Dark Tourist
Before this series came out, I had never heard of the term “Dark Tourist”, but it appears to be a global phenomenon! Dark tourists visit places where catastrophes have happened, like Hiroshima, or look for unusual dark experiences such as a simulated illegal border crossing. I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea, but it makes for an interesting series to watch!
4. Street Food
Street Food takes you on a culinary tour around Asia to discover some countries’ iconic local dishes and more. The show is as much about the dishes passed down from generation to generation as it is about the people in the kitchen. There’s only one season so far but hopefully, Netflix will come out with more episodes focusing on other parts of the globe.
5. Under an Arctic Sky
If you have Instagram and love everything travel, chances are you know who Chris Burkard is. Well, this documentary is as amazing as his photos! Under an Arctic Sky tells the story behind his journey to Iceland to surf at the most remote locations under the northern lights. Surfer or not, you’ll love it for the out of this world landscapes and amazing cinematography.
6. Tales by Light
Looking to improve your photography skills?! This series is for you! Following professional photographers traveling around the world, Tales by Light gives us an insight into what makes a great photo. From capturing places to people you’ll learn a trick or two on how to take powerful shots.
7. 72 Dangerous Places to Live
Ok, I guess this one shouldn’t make you want to visit those places?! But bear with me because some of these are also some of the most unique places on Earth! From Antarctica’s extreme cold to Venezuela’s everlasting lightning storm, you may not want to book your next holiday there, but you’ll learn a lot about our world.
A documentary about Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk’s attempt to climb Mount Meru via the Shark’s Fin route. More than a story about ascending a mountain, it’s a story about perseverance and a chance to see breathtaking landscapes we will probably never see in person.
9. Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby
At the opposite end of the spectrum… Ever wondered what it would be like to stay at one of the world’s most luxurious and unique hotels? After watching this show, you’ll have a pretty good idea, including what it takes to run such incredible hotels! If your budget allows, it might even give you holiday ideas.
10. Magical Andes
Small disclaimer: I might be biased for this one as I lived in the Andes for two years, and am absolutely under their spell. From Argentina to Colombia, Magical Andes explores the region through 5 people’s connection to the majestic mountain range. Expect epic landscapes and touching storytelling.
11. Chasing Coral
Not your typical travel documentary, but nevertheless important to raise awareness about how fast some ecosystems are changing, and how we can take action to preserve nature. Chasing Corals follows scientists, divers, and photographers as they document the disappearance of the world’s coral reefs.
12. Our planet: Behind the Scenes
I watched Our planet embarrassingly fast. And during the whole series, all I could think about was how great the cinematography is. Who are the camera geniuses who captured these scenes? How was it like to shoot them?! Netflix must have heard me because there’s now a behind the scenes (and it’s everything)!
13. The Dawn Wall
This one barely made the cut because I just recently saw it on the plane… and it’s great! Similarly to Meru, this documentary follows the ascent of The Dawn Wall, this time by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson. I won’t spoil it for you but they lived on the vertical cliff for weeks and it’s worth your time just for that.
14. [Insert Your Favorite]
Now that you know what I’ve been watching lately, I want to know what are your favorite travel shows! Please leave a comment with your recommendations, and who knows, maybe we can do a part 2 with the best travel movies.
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